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Monday, October 31, 2005

Monday Round-Up

Following on from my Ban Cars rant a few days ago, zinkibaru has written a rather stunning post about the dangers and irritation of passive driving.

She presents a sound case for banning cars, for the benefits of those of us who are passive drivers and indeed for the benefit of the earth. She even presents a way to go about creating and implementing the laws.
Obviously an outright ban may be too large a step to take all in one go, so I propose that certain areas are exempt from the Non-driving Bill. People would still be able to drive in private members' clubs and places where no pedestrian would ever go. Obviously they wouldn't be able to drive from home to these places though, as this would involve putting the public health at risk. They would have to keep their cars at the clubs. As a natural accompaniment to the Non-driving Bill it is only wise to also implement strict petrol rationing so that any form of public transport which cannot yet run on renewable energy can have access to the diminishing supply. Read more...









Buy a white poppy for peace here. Learn about them here.

Find out How Ethical your Pet Food is.

Last week's Link of the Week was the Opacity - Abandoned Photography and Urban Exploration site. For this week's, click on the Link of the Week graphic on the right.


Some cool / interesting articles from the Guardian.

Living for today.
People from all over the world are now squatting in empty 'des res'
properties in the UK to avoid cripplingly high rents in urban centres

Françoise is a well-groomed young French woman who works part-time in
fashion PR in London, pays her taxes and shares a cottage with friends
in north London. She pays no rent though, because she is one of
thousands of people across the UK who is squatting. "Many people who
squat are working in low-paid jobs and simply cannot afford to pay
rent, particularly in London," she says. "We want to do something
creative with our lives, not just working behind a bar or on a
building site. If you don't have to pay rent on top of all your other
living expenses it can mean the difference between having time to live
and merely surviving."

She wants to see a more pragmatic arrangement between owners of empty
properties and squatters, so squatters can move in and take care of
buildings until the owners need them. "The laws around empty
properties don't have much humanity," she says. "If people have a home
and some food to eat, they can make progress in life. Without these
basics it is very hard to move forward. I used to pay rent, but in
London it's so expensive. There are many beautiful buildings around
and they should be recycled."

Part of nature

She says she has learnt to get by on less since she started squatting
a few months ago. "Hot water and electricity are my basic minimum
requirements in a squat, but I don't mind if there are rats. After
all, they're part of nature."
Read more...



In other news:
Met admits stigmatising mentally ill

The Metropolitan police owned up yesterday to stigmatising people with mental illness and "perpetuating a myth" that they are especially prone to violence. It promised a programme of reform to stop the inappropriate use of police cells to detain vulnerable people who are going through a mental health crisis.

Officers said damage was often done by unauthorised leaking of mental health records, giving a misleading impression of suspects' danger to the public. There were also problems if uniformed officers accompanied social workers in detaining a patient under the Mental Health Act.

A review by police and NHS chiefs in London said: "We recognise that people who experience mental illness are far more likely to be a victim of crime than a perpetrator."

Brian Paddick, deputy assistant commissioner, said holding violent patients in police cells protected other people but did nothing to protect them against themselves, or to care for their clinical needs. He promised training to educate officers about the need for patient confidentiality.

The police and NHS organisations agreed to set up a network of "places of safety" across London where people in a mental health crisis could be treated.

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